Did the Kelana Jaya LRT service fail because Prasarana used cracked software downloaded from BitTorrent?!
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : Kelana Jaya LRT Failed After Using Cracked Software!
After the Kelana Jaya LRT service was shut down for a week after multiple failures, this message went viral on WhatsApp and social media, claiming that it was due to the use of cracked software Prasarana downloaded on the BitTorrent network!
LRT KELANA JAYA MALFUNCTION DUE TO CRACKED SOFTWARE THAT PRASARANA USED IN THEIR SYSTEM. THIS MAY CAUSED BY LIMITATION OF SOME ACCESS DUE TO NEW UPDATE TO THE SOFTWARE. ISSUE HAS BEEN HIGHLIGHTED TO HIGHER MANAGEMENT TO PURCHASE THE SOFTWARE BUT PRASARANA DECIDED TO DOWNLOAD IT USING TORRENT.
Truth : Kelana Jaya LRT Did Not Fail Because Of Cracked Software!
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on WhatsApp and social media, and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : Kelana Jaya LRT Problems Due To ATC System Failure
On 9 November 2022, Prasarana conducted a special media briefing, in which it confirmed that the failures encountered by the Kelana Jaya LRT service was due to its malfunctioning Automatic Train Control (ATC) system.
In fact, they were forced to turn it off several times, and resort to manually driving the trains, which caused further delays to their train schedules.
Prasarana CEO admitted that they knew about the problem earlier, and had already approved the RM150 million ATC system replacement, but it would take a few months to complete.
Fact #2 : ATC System Is More Than Just Software
From what I can find out, the Kelana Jaya LRT service is using the SelTrac Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) signalling system from the Thales Group.
This automatic train control system is a combination of both communications and control hardware on the train, communications and control in the trains and station, as well as both hardware and software in the Operation Control Centre.
This isn’t like your typical Windows PC, where you can just mix and match compatible components, and then install and run cracked versions of Microsoft Office or Photoshop, to get some work done.
That’s why the ATC system replacement that Prasarana approved in October 2022 would take several months to complete. It isn’t simply a matter of installing new software.
The ATC system used in the Kelana Jaya LRT line is more than 24 years old. Not only is the software outdated, the hardware is likely way past its lifespan!
Fact #3 : Unlikely For Thales ATC Software To Feature Copy Protection
Automatic train control (ATC) software is proprietary and designed to work only with specific hardware. So it is unlikely that Thales would bother to add copy protection to their ATC software.
There is no reason for them to add copy protection, because no one would be able to use it with other hardware. They can reverse-engineer and learn from the software, but not actually do anything with it.
In short, even if someone gets a copy of the Thales ATC software, there is no need for him/her to “crack” the software to share them on BitTorrent.
Even if you get a copy of the Thales ATC software, what are you going to install it on? Your laptop? To run what? Your kids’ toy train set??
Fact #4 : Thales ATC Software Isn’t On BitTorrent
BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer file sharing network, which people use to share files with each other.
Because the files being shared are stored on your computer, generally people will only share popular files – music, videos, and yes, games and office applications.
Thales automatic train control (ATC) system software is sadly, much too niche to be found on the BitTorrent network.
A search for everything Thales related, only shows three files with Thales in their name and none of them have anything to do with trains, or even software. In fact, all three are just ebooks.
- Thales the Measurer
- Unlocking the Customer Value Chain by These S Telxelra, Greg Piechota EPUB
- Drawing Physics – 2,600 Years of Discovery from Thales to Higgs (2017) (Pub) Gooner
No matter what we may think of Prasarana, it’s really stupid to suggest that they would even be able to find a cracked version of the latest Thales ATC software on BitTorrent!
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
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